Not everybody rules a massive corporate empire. Not everyone can hold the reins of global e-commerce businesses. And unless you belong to the aforementioned group, then chances are, your marketing strategies are mostly geared towards a local target audience.
It’s cool and flashy for an influencer or a celebrity to endorse your product or services to their millions of social media fans. But the instant results are often short-lived — although it is a great boost.
But if long-term solutions are what you’re after, perhaps the answer you’re looking for is local influencer marketing — a sub trend of influencer marketing that’s only going to grow even more popular in 2019.
However, unlike their larger counterparts who attract more social exposure on the internet, these group of micro-influencers take more meticulous searching to properly locate them — especially the ones who are casually residing in your town.
They are a challenge to find…
But not really, if you know where to look…
Local Influencers and Their Influence
Simply speaking, local influencers are reviewers, bloggers, and social media personalities who are based in the same area as your business. They typically belong beneath the umbrella of micro-influencers.
To put it in perspective, a round up of ten Lakewood, California influencers can include a couple of photographers or vloggers, a fashion blogger, a mommy or family blogger, or a food critic, among so many others.
But why should you even work with them? They’re famous, but not that famous.
The answer is, trust: the huge reason to work with local influencers. According to a Nielsen survey, two-thirds of the respondents stated that they trusted reviews or feedback posted online.
There’s a big reason why citation sites like Yelp are so widely trusted. The site records at least 150 million users every year.
Finding Local Influencers
As we’ve mentioned before, reaching out and finding local influencers can be a daunting task, and it can present a challenge…
If you don’t know what you’re doing, and if you aren’t looking hard enough.
#1 Do some networking during big events
Besides the internet, a great way to engage local influencers when you meet them is to interact with them in-person. Because no matter how great the internet is, human-to-human interaction is still the best way to build authentic relationships.
The best way to network to local influencers in the area is to attend a special networking event designed to put brands in touch with influencers. But even if an event is not specifically launched for that purpose, it’s still good public relations. So, you really have nothing to lose.
You can conduct a Google search for “influencer networking events (your city)” and you might bring up several positive results.
#2 Check who’s talking about your business
Aside from finding new local influencers, you can also try and look for people who are already talking about your business. Track all the positive and negative mentions of your business online.
The reasoning behind this is that it’s good to find an influencer who is already familiar with your business, and is happy with the products or services your provide.
Tools like Google Alerts are efficient at tracking brand mentions online. When you create an alert about your business or keywords related to your niche, you can receive emails whenever Google tracks mentions of your business online.
#3 Search for relevant blogs on Google
Local influencers are likely to be bloggers. So you can consider searching for bloggers who belong in your niche.
Make your searches specific to your niche and your location. For instance, you’re a dessert shop in California, you should look for “dessert bloggers California.”
Highly likely, the results that show up on top are authentic ones and may have a considerable follower size that can open up new opportunities.
#4 Scour social media for local influencers who use hashtags
As everybody knows, hashtags aid people in grouping relevant posts together. That’s why many marketers search for influencers in their niche using local hashtags.
This is one of the many effective ways to find influential people who are talking about services or products similar to yours.
Keep an eye out for posts that drive the most engagement, and visit the owners’ profiles. Look out for their number of followers, their posting frequency, and the average rate of engagement on their posts.
Don’t settle for simply one hashtag. Do multiple location-specific hashtag searches to identify the right ones.
#5 Use influencer marketing tools
Influencer marketing tools exist, so why did we go through that whole process? Well, that’s because covering all bases is essential, and you can never be too sure.
You don’t need to do everything manually. As you may discover on the internet, you can find various influencer marketing tools and platforms on the internet. These will help you locate influencers in your area.
There’s Buzzsumo, Outreach Ninja, etc.
These tools host extensive databases of influencer profiles, and help you search for the right ones in specific niches and locations.
Working with local influencers entail long-term benefits for your products or services. In addition to gaining better engagement, you have the opportunity to build lasting relationships with — not just local influencers you work with, but with your target audience as well.
Al Gomez is an SEO Specialist at Sagad. Al has over 12 years’ client digital marketing experience and has proven track records of successful projects and expertise in various marketing channels. He is passionate about solving online marketing problems like generating leads and increase in sales. He is also the Consultant for a digital marketing agency, Dlinkers.com offering services like SEO, PPC, Email marketing & Web Development.